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FEMA Funeral Assistance COVID19

If your loved one passed away from coronavirus (COVID-19) you may be eligible for a reimbursement of your funeral, interment or cremation expenses from FEMA.

You may qualify if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses on or after Jan. 20, 2020, and
  • The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, including the U.S. territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by, or was likely the result of, COVID-19.

 

Can I apply online ?

No online applications will be accepted.

When you call, it will take about 20 minutes to apply, and you can ask questions and receive the help you need with the application process.

Once you have applied for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance and received your FEMA application number, you may submit required documentation to FEMA in several ways:

  • Upload documents to your DisasterAssistance.gov account
  • Fax to: 855-261-3452
  • Mail to: P.O. BOX 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782

 

What funeral expenses are covered ?

Eligible COVID-19 Funeral Assistance expenses typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Funeral services
  • Cremation
  • Interment
  • Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual
  • Transfer of remains
  • Casket or urn
  • Burial plot or cremation niche
  • Marker or headstone
  • Clergy or officiant services
  • Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
  • Use of funeral home equipment or staff
  • Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
  • Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances
 

Can a funeral home apply on my behalf?

Funeral homes are not eligible to apply on your behalf or to be a co-applicant on your COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application. The person applying must be an individual, not a business or other entity, who incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses.

 

Are pre-planned and pre-paid funerals eligible for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance if the individual died from COVID-19?

No.

Any source of payment designated specifically to pay for a funeral prior to death is considered a duplication and is not eligible for reimbursement. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance may not duplicate burial or funeral insurance proceeds, pre-planned or pre-paid funeral contracts, pre-paid trust for funeral expenses, irrevocable trust for Medicaid, financial assistance from voluntary organizations, government programs or agencies, or any other sources specifically designated for funeral expenses. Any eligible COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will be reduced by the amount of other assistance you received for the same expenses.

To be eligible for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, you must provide documentation showing you incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses on or after January 20, 2020. FEMA cannot provide financial assistance that duplicates any source of funding designated specifically to pay for a funeral prior to the death or for a death not attributed to COVID-19.

 

Is life insurance considered a duplication of benefit? What if I used life insurance to pay for funeral expenses?

FEMA does not consider life insurance proceeds, death gratuities, or other forms of assistance not specifically intended to defray funeral costs as a duplication of benefit. Therefore, applicants who used life insurance to pay for funeral expenses may be considered for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.

 

What happens if I have a funeral or burial insurance policy, but the policy covers only part of the funeral expenses, and I have to pay the rest?

Any funding designated specifically for funeral costs is considered a duplication and is not eligible for reimbursement. This includes burial or funeral insurance, a pre-planned or pre-paid funeral contract, a pre-paid trust for funeral expenses, or an irrevocable trust for Medicaid.

However, if COVID-19-related funeral expenses were incurred on or after January 20, 2020, and exceeded the funding intended to pay these costs, FEMA may evaluate your receipts and other documentation for eligible costs not covered by those funds to ensure there is no duplication of benefits. For example, if you incur expenses for a $10,000 funeral, where the funeral or burial insurance covered only $8,000, you may be eligible for $2,000 in COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.

 

What information do I need to provide when I apply?

You will need to provide the following information when you call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline to apply for assistance:

  • Social Security Number for the applicant and the deceased individual
  • Date of birth for the applicant and the deceased individual
  • Current mailing address for the applicant
  • Current telephone number for the applicant
  • Location or address where the individual died
  • Information about burial or funeral insurance policies
  • Information about other funeral assistance received, such as donations, CARES Act grants, and assistance from voluntary organizations
  • Routing and account number of the applicant’s checking or savings account (for direct deposit, if requested)

 

What documentation do I need?

You must provide a copy of the death certificate, proof of funeral expenses incurred, and proof of funeral assistance received from any other source.

  • The death certificate must indicate the death was caused by, “may have been caused by,” or “was likely a result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution. If the death certificate was issued from Jan. 20 to May 16, 2020 and does not list COVID-19 as a cause of death, you may submit the death certificate along with a signed statement from the original certifier of the death, or the local medical examiner or coroner, attributing the death to COVID-19.
  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories or the District of Columbia. Funeral expenses incurred for a U.S. citizen who died outside the United States are not eligible.
  • Documentation for funeral expenses (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) must include your name as an individual responsible for the expenses, the deceased individual’s name, itemized funeral expenses, and proof funeral expenses were incurred on or after January 20, 2020.
  • You must also provide FEMA with proof of funds received from other sources specifically designated for funeral costs. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance may not duplicate burial or funeral insurance proceeds, pre-planned or pre-paid funeral contracts, pre-paid trust for funeral expenses, irrevocable trust for Medicaid, financial assistance from voluntary organizations, government programs or agencies, or any other sources specifically designated for funeral expenses. Any eligible COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will be reduced by the amount of other assistance you received for the same expenses.
  • Life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication of COVID-19 Funeral Assistance benefits.

 

The death certificate doesn’t attribute the death to COVID-19. How do I get a death certificate amended?

The death certificate amendment process starts by contacting the individual who certified the death. This may be a physician, local coroner, or local medical examiner. You may provide them with evidence supporting your claim the death was attributable to COVID-19.

 

In the early days of the pandemic, COVID-19 was rarely if ever noted as a cause of death on a death certificate. What do I do?

FEMA expanded its COVID-19 Funeral Assistance documentation requirements to allow applicants to submit a signed statement from the certifying official listed on the death certificate, local medical examiner, or local coroner attributing the death to COVID-19 for deaths that occurred between January 20 and May 16, 2020.

The signed statement must accompany the death certificate and include a causal pathway, or explanation, linking the cause of death on the death certificate to COVID-‍19.

Aderhold Funeral Home, Inc.
Phone: (254) 826-5321
808 S. Reagan St., P.O. Box 423, West, TX 76691


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